Thursday, November 5, 2015

Bill Would Authorize Tax Credits for Emergency Responders

HARRISBURG – On Wednesday, Rep. Ryan Warner (R-Fayette/Westmoreland) introduced legislation that would authorize municipalities to enact earned income and property tax liability tax credits for active volunteers of a fire company or emergency medical service (EMS) company.

“Recruitment and retention of fire and EMS volunteers is vital to the safety of our communities and currently suffering,” Warner said. “We all depend on these hard -working and dedicated first responders, who voluntarily put themselves in harm’s way in order to protect our children, homes and businesses. It is time we ask what we can do for them.”

Warner’s bill, House Bill 1683, would grant municipalities the authority to offer active volunteers a tax credit of up to 20 percent of their tax liability. In addition, the bill would require the state fire commissioner to establish the annual requirements of the credit program for active volunteers, such as the number of calls responded to, the training undertaken, or qualifying participation in the functions of the organization.

“I urge my colleagues to support this important piece of legislation, which will help to assist and support those who dedicate their time and energy to ensure our safety,” Warner said.

The bill was assigned to the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, where it must be considered before it can be brought before the House as a whole.